London City Lionesses face a tough away fixture against London Bees this Sunday. Five points separating them in the league with the Lionesses sitting in 7th and the Bees 11th in the table. In the previous fixture in October, the Lionesses won 2-1 at Princes Park thanks to goals from Murphy and Bennett.
Both the Lionesses and Bees come into the fixture having drawn their last games against Crystal Palace and Coventry United respectively.
Reflecting on the draw last Sunday against Crystal Palace, Lionesses Head Coach Mel Phillips said “So many positives to take away from the game. We walked away a little bit with the same feeling that we did after the Sheffield match, while a draw on the road is a good result. We walked away feeling hungry. We knocked on the frame of the goal in both matches and a number of times. We're getting in good areas."
“A lot of positives to take away and we just hit the training ground this week and challenged ourselves to improve on the finer details of the game”.
Speaking on the Lionesses’ impressive defensive solidarity this season, with the Lionesses maintaining a clean sheet last Sunday, Phillips commented “incredibly proud of that and we take a lot of pride in being tough, being organised and being committed and taking ownership over our roles defensively."
“But it's just as much to do with how we are as an attacking style team. We don't turn over the ball in bad areas and there's a commitment to get in behind and defend as a team when we do, so we take along a lot of pride in that area”.
Looking back at the Lionesses’ win against the Bees in October and on the Championships competitive edge, Phillips said “I think reflecting on the league, we've talked a lot about how competitive the league is and that anyone can beat anyone in the table in any given match. It's always going to be a tough competitive game in a bit of a London derby."
“What I remember and reflect on the game, is how much we wanted to win that game. Had a good amount of the ball, scored an early goal, and gave up a set piece in the game. That was a bit of a fluke and then immediately after that you just saw another gear from our team. We switched on, we were focused, we were committed, we were determined to get back and we did just that. That's the type of attitude it's going to take to get a result against anyone in the league”.
With the Lionesses’ last two fixtures resulting in 0-0 draws, what does midfielder Lily Agg believe the Lionesses need to improve on to turn drawing matches into winning matches?
“Goals, we just need to score goals. We are very confident going into games, defensively we're solid and we know that we're creating good opportunities. It's small margins whether that we're creating the chances, we just need to be a little bit better in that final third and we showed we can score."
“When you look at our performance against Leicester, we put four against them, great goals as well. And we consistently said we don't have an out-and-out goal scorer and we are lacking that but at the same time we're getting good opportunities and we're just going to keep working every day in training."
“Hopefully those that are hitting the post and just missing are going to start to turn in our favour. A little bit of luck and then we can keep going forward”.
You can follow the build-up to Sunday’s game at 2pm with the live match updates via the London City Lionesses Twitter feed.